Tufts 10K and a Busy Week

You guys! I have the busiest week. I haven’t had a week like this in so long.
Thank goodness I didn’t have to work on Monday but I did run the Tufts 10K for Women! Pre-baby, I ran all. the. time. and was in super good shape. Now I am lucky if I get in a 3-4 mile run a couple times a month. Needless to say, I wasn’t trying to win the race! I was still surprised with how hard the 10k was. Around mile 3 I was huffing and puffing but I refused to stop. And I didn’t! I finished with a time of 51:43 and 8:20 min/miles. Honestly, I was happy with that. To me, the Tufts 10k is so much more about the event, the women, doing it with my mom and friends and getting out a running. Maybe one day I will get my speed back but until then I am siked with a finish.

Tufts 10k 2017
I had just seen Emerson and my dad as I was starting the race!

The rest of the week is crazy busy. I have to leave the house before 7 all week, which never happens. That means, Vinnie is on daddy duty full-time.
Today I am at a photo-shoot and will not get home until after Emerson’s bedtime [tear]. Tomorrow I have meetings all day and then the USSA Gala at night to help raise money for the US Ski Team which means I will also miss bedtime.
Friday I agreed to sub a yoga class at 6:15am which is going to be serious jult to my system and make it so I won’t see Emerson in the morning. I am going to need some serious cuddles come Friday night!

Luckily, with such a crazy week, this past weekend was nice and relaxing. We went up to Vermont for a wedding, saw all 4 grandparents and celebrated my dad’s birthday. We to go to Vermont all the time but we have not been in a really long time so it was nice to get up there and enjoy the mountains, foliage and quiet.Fall Wedding in Vermont

Fall Wedding in Vermont

This coming weekend we are heading back up to Vermont for some more family-time, Gala’s and fun. Twice in two weeks, woo-wee!

Last thing…I really want to fit in some workouts but I just don’t know if it possible. I hate not working out. I always feel better getting in something quick even if it’s just a quick 10 min video to get my body moving and sweat a little. But, this week, I am letting it go. I have too much going on. If I fit something in, great! If not, I will pick it back up next week.

I hope your week is off to a good start! I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.

Tufts 10k 2016

For the second year in a row I ran the Tufts 10k road race for woman. My mom, my aunt and a group of our girl friends from Vermont are making it a tradition. It’s so fun, we make it into a little girls trip, if you will. They all get a hotel room and after the race explore restaurants and around Boston. I always run, but have called it quits before the drinking and eating really gets going.

This year the weather was perfect! It actually felt a little cold and windy but once we started running it was plenty warm. Tufts 10 K 2016

The race starts at noon which is so nice ’cause you can have a relaxing morning and slowly make your way to the start.

My goal for the race was to finish. I thought if I could run around a 8:30 minute mile, and walk if it got too hard, I’d be happy.  I know that seems kind of silly but since having Emerson I really have not been able to run like I used to. I fit in some quick 3-4 mile runs, here and there, but I am not nearly in the kind of shape I typically am.

Tufts 10 K 2016

I ended up running exactly an 8 minute mile and finishing without having to walk at all. I felt good but it was super hard. I had to practice positive self talk! At mile 3, I was like, “okay, you’re half way, you can do 3 more miles!” By the end my butt and hamstrings were on fire. I pushed myself the last mile and when I crossed the finished I felt almost as fatigued as when I ran a marathon. My legs were weak and my body was exhausted.

Tufts 10 K 2016 results

Knowing I would see these two once I crossed the finish line motivated me to keep going! I mean, seriously, does it get any better than that. {maybe next year I will run with Emerson in the stroller…}

Tufts 10k

On a similar note, I was so proud of my mom today. She ran the race and finished in 1:04 averaging a 10:20 minute mile. Up until the last minute she was debating whether she should run or walk. Earlier in the summer she set out to run the race and started on a make-shift training program but then I asked her to help watch Emerson when I went back to work and totally cut into any free time she may have had to train (and she hurt her hammy too). Feeling unprepared to run, she was going to walk with my aunt. Luckily we convinced her just to try and run… see how far you can go, and then walk. Well, she ran the whole thing and finished with an amazing time!

Tufts 10k
Mom and me at the finish with our #1 cheerleader, Emerson!

Another woman in our group finished 2nd in her age group! She makes me want to train for the race next year!

And everyone else had a great time, including me. It was my first race back and it felt great to be back out pounding the pavement with so many others.

Tufts 10k - the Vermont crew

This race is so inspiring! There are so many incredible women out on the course sweating together, sharing memories together and working hard together. I look forward to doing it again next year!

 

 

New Bedford Half Marathon

I ran the New Bedford Half Marathon this weekend.

New Bedford Half Marathon BibI have to admit I did not do the training plan that I had intended but I felt as if I had signed up so I had to do it. I also didn’t have the best couple days leading up to the race but that’s neither here or there because I did it and survived!

The Saturday before the race I was skiing all day and up late at a friends 30th birthday party so Sunday morning called for a lot of pre-race energy snacks and nutrition. I ate the Luna Bar and the Vega hydration mixture on my drive to the race, had the Clif gel shot right before the start and snacked on the Shot Bloks through out the entire race.  It worked! My energy was strong the entire race.

Pre Race Food

The race started at 11 AM which was awesome and makes for kind of a normal morning. You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to get there. I was able to have a relaxing morning and get some sleep.

New Bedford Half Marathon Start

The race started promptly at 11 AM everyone was lined up and ready to go! The first 2 miles are pretty flat as you’re working your way out of the city.

At Miles 2 – 4, there are a few hilly rolls with one last big climb as you approach mile marker 4.

Miles 4 – 7 are pretty much all downhill as you weave through the neighborhoods.

new Bedford Half Marathon Course New Bedford Half Marathon Course

Mile 7 – 12 are very flat and beautiful as you run along the water. We were fortunate enough to have an amazing tailwind for miles 7 – 10 but at mile 10 we turned to head back towards the city and hit a serious headwind. And pretty much for the next 3 miles we battled with the wind to the finish.

At mile 12 there is one last climb to the finish. It’s about 100 feet of an elevation change but it’s the end of the race and you’re feeling pretty tired so this was a bit of a struggle. Someone told me before the race that once you see KFC you’re in the homestretch to the finish and she was absolutely right. Once you get to the top of the hill there’s a stretch of a few fast food restaurants and KFC’s right on the corner before you turn right and head downhill for the last 1/4 mile into the finish. I was so excited to see the finish line. I felt strong the whole time but the wind and final hill really hurt me and I was ready to be done.

New Bedford Half Marathon Results

I ended up running a 1:38:01 which I was siked about. My goal was to get under 1:40. My average pace was 7:29 which was perfect! I tend to run my training runs at 7:45 min/miles so to race at a 7:29 pace meant I was pushing myself.

Overall, I was really happy with my race especially for how little I trained and how unprepared I felt. It was my first time doing a half marathon (although I have done 3 marathons…) and I really liked this distance. I felt like I could really work hard for that amount of time and not have to pace myself so much like I do for marathon. However, when I crossed the finish line I felt just as sore as I do after a marathon. My hamstrings and my hip flexors were super tight and I was exhausted!

Good thing we had clam chowder, fish sandwiches and banana’s to consume for a post-race meal! I ate it ALL…

I was at the race alone so I didn’t hang around too long afterwards. I was sore, tired and felt a bit like a loner so I wanted to get home and on the couch. I relaxed and lounged hte rest of the afternoon. Around 5pm I was starving and way too lazy to cook anything so I hobbled over to Whole Foods hot bar and grabbed some dinner. I brought it home and ate with my medal and bib! 🙂

New Bedford Half Marathon Dinner

The New Bedford Half Marathon was a great race and very well organized. I really enjoyed entire experience! It has made me want to sign up for more half marathons races. There is something really fun about race day and the thrill of the competition that you just don’t get on a regular ol’ run!

 

Cupid’s Undie Run

Hey guys!

Back at the beginning of the month Mattie made a goal for 2015 to run more races and to volunteer more, participating more in the community. I suggested fundraising for an organization by creating a Comfy & Confident team and it just so happens that we did just that…

We registered a team to participate in the Cupid’s Undie Run which is a mile(ish) run in your bedroom-best (ie: undies) on Valentine’s Day weekend. The run is a charity event to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation to end Neurofibromatosis (NF). NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, causing blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain.

Pic410

There is a Cupid’s Undie Run in cities all over the US. Click here to see if there is one in a city near you.  The Boston run is held Fenway Park on February 15th. Yes you run through Fenway in your undies, in February!  No, there is no gaurentee the Red Sox will be there.

Cupid Run Boston, MA

Last year I had the pleasure of volunteering because I couldn’t run and I made a promise to myself and to my friend Lindsey Norse that I would run it this year and raise money to help end this devastating disease. Mattie and I, and a few other friends, have joined together to run in our undies and raise money for this great cause.

CUPID Run

If you are in the Boston area we would be so happy to have you join our team. Check out our fundraising page to JOIN, learn more about the event or even donate if you are feeling generous! But really… please JOIN OUR TEAM… we would LOVE to have you there! It is going to be a blast!!

If you’re not in Boston, see if there is a run in your city and consider joining. Running for a good cause… you can’t beat it!

 

New Bedford Half Marathon

New Bedford Half Marathon Confirmation

Hi there! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was nice to be home and get some stuff done, however I got very distracted by Scandal. I have never seen the show and randomly decided to put on an episode and I am completely hooked. It is so addicting and entertaining. I wasted so many hours watching the show instead of cleaning the house or working on the blog. Opps! Life goes on…

Birthday party at the Greatest Bar

On Saturday, Vinnie and I went out to The Greatest Bar to celebrate a friends 30th birthday. I haven’t been to club type bar in a long time, it was pretty fun and nice to change things up. But, I drank way too much and was worthless all Sunday. It totally screwed up my plans for getting things done. I was so lazy, I couldn’t even cook dinner so we walked to Whole Foods to grab some food. I also picked up some Kevita to try to counteract all the toxins I put into my body. I could use about 5 more!

Wholefoods dinner

The one thing I did accomplish was signing up for the New Bedford Half Marathon in March. I finally bite the bullet and registered. I have been thinking about it for a really long time and decided that competing in races is a great way to work at my goals for 2015. I have run a few races but I have never followed a plan to increase my speed and get a faster time. For this race, I have 9 weeks until the race so I have been looking at a few training plans. I want to find one that has a good mix of steady state runs and speed workouts.

New Bedford Half Marathon Confirmation

Can you recommend any training plans?
Do you have any races coming up?

 

 

Meet & Greet with Julia Ford

Last night we had a Meet & Greet for my sister, Julia. I have mentioned her before, but she is a profession Ski Racer and competed in the Sochi Olympics last winter. She is home for the Holidays so we had a gathering for friends, fans and kids in the local ski programs to come and meet her, get her autograph and ask her questions. It was a really fun night and we had an incredible turn out! To see more pictures, head over to Julia’s site – Juliaford.org

Olympian Julia Ford at Stemwinder in VT
Julia meeting and taking pictures with all the kiddos
Olympian Julia Ford at Stemwinder in VT
I got to Introduce Julia – It was a very special moment for me!
Olympian Julia Ford at Stemwinder in VT
The crowd listening to Julia talk
Olympian Julia Ford at Stemwinder in VT
My brother, Willie, asked her questions people submitted earlier in the night
Olympian Julia Ford at Stemwinder in VT
Me and siblings happy after such a great night!

 

Little Victories Are Important Too

Today I have a special treat! My sister, Julia, wrote a guest post. She is a professional ski racer who as had many accomplishments through out her career including racing at Sochi on the US Olympic Ski Team. However, every journey has it’s ups and downs and this year she is taking a new outlook on her career and goals. Tomorrow she kicks off her season with the first World Cup Downhill of the season at Lake Louise in Canada. Below she talks about her journey, game plan and goals.
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I feel the excitement stirring in the depths of my stomach again. I haven’t felt it for a while, maybe years now. My vision was tunneled by one thing: win, win, win. With a singular focus I lost sight of why I was ski racing and where the joy actually lies. You may wonder, “Where is the joy, if it’s not in winning?”. Well, hang on to your hats ladies and gentlemen because I am about to blow your mind.

You Can Fly

First things first. Something you should know is I am one of the most competitive people on the planet. Whether you know me or not, believe me when I say, if someone says challenge or competition, my ears perk up like a hound who has caught the scent and I’m ready for the chase. It is a part of me. I have tried to tone it down but it is a monster that can’t be tamed, so now I openly embrace it. Actually, I have not so much embraced it as I have learned how to use it in a productive manner. And when I say I have learned, I mean I am learning. Everything is a process and some days are better than others which brings me back to my binoculars with ‘win’ written on the end.

In my competitive manner, I have had the outcome so pinpointed in my mind, I lost focus on the process. I wanted to be the fastest and the best right NOW! Which, ok, don’t we all? The problem with that is I didn’t buy into the process to get there. I would become so outraged, resentful, frustrated, or worse self pitying that my emotions controlled me. It took me away from what I could control like improving my skiing, staying focused on what I need to work on to get faster and NOT just going through the motions. So when things started to go array, which, it’s a long season, at some point they will, I couldn’t grasp how to make it stop. My mind was so weighted down by the fear of losing, of not qualifying, of failing, I couldn’t think clearly. I was Atlas holding the world on my shoulders. See what I mean…. the joy was gone.

Julia in her Timberlands

Worse, I was gone. Not literally but in the sense where I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be. I am a happy person! I enjoy competition for the game, the challenge, the fun of showing what I got. I forgot about that uncontrolled, all consuming excitement that we have when we are kids playing games. And isn’t that what skiing is, just a game? Yes, it is my career and the stakes are higher, but if we look at the chalk board and erase the rest of the math, aren’t we are left with x? When we do the same with all the bullshit that surrounds ski racing, we are left with the same; the simple fact is that ski racing is a game to be enjoyed.

So I come to this, if ski racing is not just about being focused on winning, then what it is the point? Winning is the goal but it is really just an outcome; a combination of one’s hard work, dedication, and defeating adversity. It is not the only thing we should strive for. What we should seek is improvement, overcoming obstacles, and putting your whole heart into something to see what you are truly capable of. I feel no greater joy than when I have fresh air in my face, and I make the perfect turn resulting in a a sudden rush of acceleration and adrenaline… Ah, it makes me giddy thinking about it! Those things are the markings of true success. The little victories need to be celebrated just as much because they are what help get you to the end goal.

In The Start Gate Copper Mtn

Please, don’t be misunderstood, I want to win. My goal is to kick everyone’s ass. I am just saying that this year I am choosing to focus on a the little victories along the way. Mainly, the fight to improve, the people on my team who believe in me, and the reason I pursued skiing to begin with, the unadulterated bliss and fire it lights in me. When I am so willing to put (literally) my blood, sweat, and tears into being the best possible athlete and version of myself I can be, that is victory. When I stand at the end of my season, my career, my life, winning will be standing tall and being able to say ‘I gave it everything I had.’  And no matter what ‘everything I have’ entails I will have used all the talent and work ethic I possess and that is all I can do.

Create Your Own Path In The Snow

I remember my first trip to Chile with the World Cup team. My body felt as though it was carbonated. I sat on the plane and bubbled over with excitement. Somewhere along the way, through the roller coaster of success, failure, injury, and management, I lost sight of that kid who sat on that airplane so thrilled to ski with the best in the world, to learn, to go fast, and to just ski. I have said many times, ‘I just want to ski.’ And this year, that is what I will do. Win or lose, I am going to ski my heart out!

Speed Racing

Want more? Follow Julia all winter long:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/juliawford
Facebook: Julia Ford
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliawford

I will also be having her post updates here on my blog so check back frequently.

Thanksgiving 2014

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and shared amazing memories with your family and friends. We woke up to a winter wonderland!

SNow

The day started with a very fun and casual Turkey Trot. It is all about being with friend and family. There is no entry fee, no official timer, you just need to bring a toy for a local family.

Turkey Trot Gifts

FullSizeRender

It was a beautiful, snowy Vermont day! People walk, jog, run and chat! It is more about being together and sharing memories, and less about who crosses the finish line first.

Fire

After the Turkey Trot, we came home, drank hot cocoa by the fire, while the turkey was being prepped in the kitchen.

Friends GIff

This Thanksgiving, my sisters and brother are out in Colorado together. I missed them a lot but they keep sending amazing pictures and it looks like they had a great day. I need to take photography lessons from Lily and Julia!

FAmily

It was a great day of giving thanks and spending time with all the generations of family – from great grandfather to great grandson.

Woodie And Coltn

At the end of the day, this is how I felt:

REgina Giff

For some extra Thanksgiving fun, check out #thanksgivingdancewars on instagram. Maria Menounos, Julianne Hough and Kate Hudson made some really fun family dance videos.

How did you spend your Thanksgiving!?

Indoor Turkey Trot

I am a little over tired today! My cousin flew in from South Carolina last night at 1am [eeek] with her two youngest kiddos. I picked them up at the airport, we all crammed into my small Subaru and drove to my grandparents house 30 minutes away. I slept over and drove to work from there so I could sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep.

The only bummer about sleeping up there was that my local YMCA was having a 5K Treadmill Turkey Trot this morning that I really wanted to do. It sounded like a fun inner-gym competition, donations supported the local community and it’s a great way to push myself more than normal. Being the competitor that I am, I decided to still do the run even though I wasn’t at my Y. I went to the treadmill at my office gym and busted out 3.1 miles.

Charlestown YMCA Treadmill TrotMy game plan was to try to maintain 7 min/miles for all 3.1 miles. I didn’t realize that meant running at 8.5mph pace on the treadmill! I typically average around 6.8 – 7.0mph. For some reason, I find it a lot hard to push myself on the treadmill. I usually take it easy on the treadmill and run at a slower pace than when I am outside. When I run outside, I average about a 7:40 min/mile. Anyway, as I started my run I set the pace at 7.5 which by all accounts is a good pace, however I knew I was settling and letting treadmill intimidate me so I pushed the speed up to 8.0. I was expecting to get exhausted really fast, but I was feeling ok so I increased my speed to 8.5. What is crazy about this is when I do intervals on the treadmill I sprint at 8.5. Today I was running several miles at my treadmill “interval sprint pace” and I felt good. I was pleasantly surprised! It also tells me I need to push myself a lot harder when I run on the treadmill!Treamill Trot Finish Time (1)

I ended up running the turkey trot treadmill 5k in 22:05 which was a little slower than I had planned but not by much. I averaged 7:06min/miles!. I think I still left some energy on the treadmill today, but it was a great experience and I made me realize I really enjoy pushing myself and reminded me to incorporate more high intensity workouts into my fitness routine. I get so comfortable going for regular runs, I forget how important it is to mix things up and vary intensity levels to increase my endurance and fitness level.

Treadmill Trot Finish Time
It felt great to have an extra challenge today and push myself outside my comfort zone.  It kind of gave me the itch to enter more races and see how fast I can run!

Do you typically run faster or slower on the treadmill?